Sir Ian McKellen is to stage a series of charity shows in New Zealand to raise money for an earthquake-hit theatre in the country.
The British actor is currently in the country filming two-part Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit and will spend his free weekends this summer (12) touring a new one-man show in aid of the historic Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch.
The venue is in need of extensive restoration after being damaged in the tremors which rocked the area last year (11), and MCKellen hopes his newly-devised production, Ian MCKellen on Stage, will help cover the multi-million dollar repair costs.
During the show, the actor will discuss his role in the Lord of the Rings franchise, as well as his other projects, and hold a question and answer session with fans. He has also threatened to stand at the theatre door with a bucket at the end of every performance to collect extra donations from the audience.
He says, "Basically it will be a party. Do come! The last time I was on stage in New Zealand was at the Isaac Theatre Royal in Waiting for Godot. I love this beautiful old theatre and want to help restore it as soon as possible."
The shows kick off in the city of Stratford on 5 May (12).